File:Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide.png

From Global Warming Art


History of carbon dioxide concentrations during the last 250 years and a comparison of the rate of increase to the rate at which fossil fuels are being consumed.

This figure shows the history of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations as directly measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. This curve is known as the Keeling curve, and is an essential piece of evidence of the man-made increases in greenhouse gases that are believed to be the cause of global warming. The longest such record exists at Mauna Loa, but these measurements have been independently confirmed at many other sites around the world [1].

The annual fluctuation in carbon dioxide is caused by seasonal variations in carbon dioxide uptake by land plants. Since many more forests are concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere, more carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere during Northern Hemisphere summer than during Southern Hemisphere summer. This annual cycle is shown in the inset figure by taking the average concentration for each month across all measured years. This cycle is sometimes referred to as the "breathing" of the Earth.

The red curve shows the average monthly concentrations, and blue curve is a moving 12 month average.


This figure was created by Robert A. Rohde from published data.

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current03:52, 4 February 2009Thumbnail for version as of 03:52, 4 February 2009800×549 (35 KB)Robert A. Rohde (Talk | contribs)
03:50, 4 February 2009Thumbnail for version as of 03:50, 4 February 2009800×549 (35 KB)Robert A. Rohde (Talk | contribs)
05:22, 2 April 2007Thumbnail for version as of 05:22, 2 April 2007800×547 (34 KB)Robert A. Rohde (Talk | contribs) (spelling)
09:02, 2 July 2006Thumbnail for version as of 09:02, 2 July 2006600×410 (24 KB)Robert A. Rohde (Talk | contribs)